Scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs in the United States could get a slice of funding worth $40 million (£26.5m) to develop efficient technologies that can help shift cars and trucks off oil.
The cash from the US Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) will be given to two new programmes for cleaner and cheaper transport for consumers.
One of the projects will develop cost-effective and energy efficient manufacturing techniques to process and recycle metals that could help make lighter vehicles that can save fuel and cut carbon emissions. The second will encourage technologies to improve the conversion of natural gas to liquids for transport fuels. This is designed to cut vehicle emissions compared with conventional petrol engines.
Cheryl Martin, ARPA-E Deputy Director said the aim was to find “breakthrough technologies” to fuel cars with natural gas and to process and recycle metals.
She said: “Breakthroughs in these areas could transform America’s energy economy by enhancing advanced manufacturing and utilising domestic energy sources to power our vehicles and reducing carbon pollution and other harmful emissions.”
ARPA-E says it has provided $770 million (£509.4m) worth of funding for 285 energy projects to date.